INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Some healthcare workers in Indiana could get the COVID-19 vaccine as early as Monday. Parkview Health in Fort Wayne said it expects to start with a small number of their health care workers receiving the vaccine on Monday and then begin mass distributions on Tuesday.
The health system said they anticipate receiving a shipment of about 2,000 doses of the vaccine this week and around 8,000 doses next week.
Parkview is one of the five Indiana hospitals receiving vaccine doses. IU Health Methodist Hospital will also be getting the first, very limited number of vaccines. However, at this point, no Indianapolis hospitals have made it clear as to when they will receive and start distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Indiana chief medical officer said initially the state will receive a little over 55,000 doses of the vaccine, which will all go to frontline healthcare workers most at risk of being exposed to COVID-19. More doses of the vaccine are expected to be available at 50 hospitals by the end of the week.
The state’s current vaccination plan has three phases:
- Frontline health care workers, along with nursing home residents and staff will get their shots first.
- Then, other essential workers and vulnerable people will receive the vaccine.
- Finally, the general population will be able to get the vaccine.
While it could be months before the general population is vaccinated, people are relieved this day is actually here.
“I feel that it’s a good thing. It puts a lot of people’s minds at ease where they can start getting out again and you know, enjoying life and not be cooped up in the house,” said Ahkisha Owens from Indianapolis.
“The excitement to have a vaccine come to us and hopefully slow down the deaths and all the rates and everything. Yeah, we’d be willing to take it,” said Will Owens from Indianapolis.
CVS and Walgreens will also play a vital role in vaccine distribution once it is widely available. It will be a similar process to receiving a flu shot.
Initially, the vaccine won’t be available to children under 16 years old or pregnant women.